Mom Muse | Jamie Chandlee
Jamie Chandlee is one of those moms we meet and ask ourselves, how does she do it all?? She’s smart, driven, beautiful inside and out, an active philanthropist, and the CEO of one of our go-to fashion & beauty resource websites, Rank & Style. Oh, and this high-tech fashionista has enviable style. Of course, like most moms, Jamie’s most challenging and rewarding role is raising her two little ones, Emerson (3) and Maxwell (1).
A Texan through and through, Jamie was born and raised in the Lone Star State and graduated from the University of Texas. Before becoming the CEO of Rank & Style, she played a pivotal role in launching Facebook’s Austin office and helped lead the company’s efforts within the fashion and retail segments. In May 2016, the self-proclaimed online shopping addict (we can SO relate!) and her two business partners acquired New York-based Rank & Style, a website that publishes data-driven, daily top ten lists of the best in fashion and beauty. Soon after, the trio made the decision to relocate the fashion site’s headquarters to Austin, which is widely recognized as a strong tech hub and vibrant startup community.
How does Rank & Style work? Well, the site uses an algorithm to objectively rank products based on user reviews, bloggers’ and editors’ picks, celebrity favs and best-seller lists. Basically, it does all the research on that new skincare product you’re considering so you don’t have to, thus helping you make a better decision. If you haven’t been to Rank & Style yet, you must check it out and add the URL to your “favorites” list.
Philanthropy is an important part of Jamie’s life as well and her commitment to helping others, especially in her local community is impressive. Jamie and her husband Blake (a Facebook executive) created the Chandlee Family Foundation to invest in the future of local Austin charities, namely Dell Children’s Hospital and the Elizabeth Ann Seton Board.
On a more personal note, Jamie’s business career and philanthropic work come second to being a dedicated mother. And, like all working moms, she diligently focuses on achieving a solid work-life balance. (Read on below for her thoughts on the topic.) Notably, Jamie is also a cancer survivor! After being diagnosed in 2009 and beating Stage IV Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, the experience gave her a renewed sense of purpose and appreciation for the wonderful ride that is life.
The family at Emerson’s 3rd birthday party.
Having fun with Max and Emerson.
Jamie and her husband Blake.
MSL: Describe your style in five words or less.
Modern, bold, easy, bright.
MSL: How did your decision to purchase Rank & Style come about?
I left my job at Facebook in 2013 when I was pregnant with my daughter, Emerson. I really struggled with my identity and was in a total rut. Being a mother is extremely fulfilling, but I knew that I needed another way to challenge myself. I started working on the Rank & Style acquisition about a year ago and haven’t looked back since. I am so fulfilled in all aspects of my life, which allows me to be a better mom and cherish my time with my family even more.
MSL: What do you enjoy most about your job? The biggest challenge?
I love seeing our team work together to challenge and inspire one another on a daily basis. We sometimes have to step outside our comfort zones as we continue to scale the business. It’s been so rewarding to see us continue to grow while watching our new ideas come to life. The biggest challenge is dealing with all of the growing pains that come along with a start-up. It’s difficult sometimes to not put all of our focus on our impact. There are so many different factors that come into play.
MSL: What are your long-term plans for the company?
Our website redesign is coming soon, as well as new categories for our top ten lists. Ultimately we have set out to rank the world! Be on the lookout soon!
Jamie on vacation with friends at Harbor Island in the Bahamas.
The Chandlee family on vacation.
MSL: As a working mom, any secrets you can share for maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
I’m still trying to figure that secret out! I try to carve out specific time each day to focus on three different areas: Work, Charity, and Family. It’s a constant give-and-take and I certainly don’t have the perfect balance, but it’s something I work on every single day. I think it’s by far the biggest challenge of being a working mom! I think the struggle for more time and balance will always be there but when I am specific with my intentions for each day then it’s another step forward.
MSL: Tell us more about your goals for the Chandlee Family Foundation and what inspired you to start it.
We started this in order to serve a wider variety of philanthropic initiatives in Austin. This has allowed us to set more focused goals and deliver a better impact to deserving organizations. Our goals are truly centered around providing the necessary resources to help move our partners forward into their best futures.
MSL: What’s the one item in your closet you can’t live without?
Can I name two because it’s a toss up! My Chanel black booties and my Golden Goose sneakers. They both work with everything (I am often changing into each but with the same outfit!) and are perfect for my days in Austin, NYC and traveling!
Jamie and Blake. How much do you love her dress??!
MSL: Top three clothing items or accessories you’re buying for Spring 2017?
- I am loving the slide-on mule trend this season and just bought two pairs for myself.
- Frayed-hem jeans – this style takes jeans to another level!
- Ruffles, ruffles, and more ruffles!! My new favorite top – MSGM’s striped off-the-shoulder top.
MSL: You love to travel. The next destination on your short list?
I am going to the Montage Palmetto Bluff in a few weeks, but my short list is quite long and my husband and I are always adding to it. To name a few: Blackberry Farm, Mukul Resort in Nicaragua, and Marrakesh — hopefully that will happen this summer!
MSL: What’s your best style advice for other moms out there?
Every mother needs the best basics in her closet. Since we have little spare time during the day, we need good transitional pieces that can be worn year round, but styled differently each time. A good pair of skinny jeans, a basic tee, and a rockin’ pair of heels are essential. I love wearing jeans, a tee, and sneakers to drop the kids off in the morning and then throwing on heels for a meeting at work that day. Easy as can be!